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Apple's Laptop and Desktop Strategy in a Post-PC World

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Shortly after returning to Apple, Steve Jobs outlined the company's computer strategy using a  2 x 2 matrix, with laptops and desktops across one axis and users divided into professional and consumer markets across the other. 

 

Today, that matrix seems to hold true: the professional desktop system remains the Mac Pro and the professional laptop remains the MacBook Pro, albeit nicely re-envisioned with the new retina-display 15.4" MBP model. For consumers, the desktop system continues to be the iMac and the consumer laptop has evolved from the MacBook to the MacBook Air

 

However, if Steve had been introducing the new MacBook Pro line, I have no doubt that he would have simultaneously launched a 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display as well as the 15.4" model. If retina equipped MacBook Pros are the future for Professional users, then the older range is now outdated and irrelevant. It seems very "un-Steve" to continue selling the first generation unibody MBPs. Some people have been quick to point out that the retention of the older MBP line-up was due to the need to offer a range of Pro laptops across different price points. This excuse seems lame. Apple has the power to price as it wishes. It also has the power to inspire revolutions that drive change. So this makes me ask why no 13" retina MacBook Pro now? I don't buy hardware design limitations.If it was impossible to fit the necessary components into a 13" enclosure without a DVD/CD drive, then something has to give. The big issue is clearly battery life and the need for a discrete GPU to power the retina display. But I doubt that the technical issues are beyond the abilities of Apples design and hardware engineering teams. 

 

The other thing I don't buy is the lack of user-upgradeability built into the new MacBook Pro. The SSD capacities are inadequate for Pro machines. I realise that cost is a genuine issue, but this surely makes a strong case for allowing users to buy and fit larger capacity SSD drives as they become available (and affordable). If that's true for hard disk capacities, it is also true for RAM. It may be that processor and motherboard designs have evolved in such a way that soldering SSD units directly onto them makes more sense, but as things stand a lack of a plausible explanation makes it look as if Apple is treating its customers like idiots. 

 

So while the the new Retina MacBook Pro is undoubtedly impressive, I can't help feeling that it is a bit half-assed. I remember when the first unibody MacBooks were launched, they were quickly redesigned to eliminate the flimsy battery cover and to increase battery capacity. I wonder if history will repeat itself? Whatever, we need a 13" MacBook pro with a retina display to appear pronto.

 

The other half-assed hardware upgrade was the MacPro. How difficult would it have been to add new processors, a new GPU, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0 support? Tim Cook's message of reassurance was a commendable response, but how did Apple get this so wrong? As someone responsible for buying MacPro systems for a small business, the cost is usually sufficiently high that you don't want to do it that often. A lot of Pro users like to upgrade their laptops every year, but if you're running a business, you want as many years of life out of a desktop machine before you junk it. As things stand, we're very pleased with our Mac Pros. They work well and we have come-up against few problems that would necessitate a move to a more powerful system. We like Apple's incremental approach to upgrading systems because it reduces training and business risk. But,you know what, it really is time for a proper refresh. The net of this is that I feel Pro users have been let down buy Apple. 

 

With the MacBook Air consumers have been served well. These laptops are great machines. But the iMac, like the MacPro desktops, was also due for a refresh. Again, how difficult would it have been to to add new processors and GPUs? Apple could have bumped both the iMac and MacPro when Ivy Bridge launched a while back. So it is fair to say that consumers have been let down by the lack of an iMac refresh.

 

In searching for answers to what I hope will be unrepeated miss-steps, I wonder if Apple has been a bit premature in announcing the post-PC age? 

 

Despite the advent of the iPad for both pro users and consumers, I'd say that both desktop and laptop computers remain viable machines. As good as the iPad is, there are are a number of heavy duty tasks that are still performed better by a computer with a large screen and a keyboard. That's true for pro users (think video editing, image manipulation, handling large spreadsheets, creating image-intensive documents and presentations, designing applications and so on). It's also true for consumer users, may of whom perform the same tasks on a recreational basis. As larger touch screen devices appear, it seems likely that we'll move away from vertically mounted screens to horizontally positioned slates. The trouble is that they haven't been invented yet. When they come, voice input systems should aid the transition for desktop to pad. I tend to think that this transition will be gradual and driven as much by advances in software and UI design than system hardware design. So, for the moment, traditional laptop and desktop computers remain relevant.

 

 

Meanwhile, as processor advances give us ever more powerful machines, another hugely relevant factor is that the distinction between business and consumer machines is become less marked. I mean that today's 13" MacBook Air is more powerful than recent 13" MacBook Pros. Similarly, the iMac is more powerful than previous MacPros. At the risk of repeating Bill Gates misconceived remark, that "512 kb should be enough memory for just about anyone", it seems that the law of diminishing returns will eventually apply to laptop and desktop computers. In the meantime, Pro users seem to find inevitable ways to use an extra power they gain in new machines. What I'm saying is that if there is demand, why not meet it? 

 

After Steve's death many people will look for opportunities to say that the company has lost focus. I don't think that for a moment, but leading so many talented employees requires real vision, unshakeable beliefs and the strength of character to carry through ideas from birth until the time they need to be killed.

post #2 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

if Steve had been introducing the new MacBook Pro line, I have no doubt that he would have simultaneously launched a 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display as well as the 15.4" model.

After Steve's death many people will look for opportunities to say that the company has lost focus. I don't think that for a moment, but leading so many talented employees requires real vision, unshakeable beliefs and the strength of character to carry through ideas from birth until the time they need to be killed.

I think people need to get over this. The people at Apple, including Steve Jobs make decisions weighing up a number of factors. They couldn't have the entry-level 15" MBP at $2200 so they couldn't discontinue the old model or else they'd have to sacrifice something from the retina model. The current entry retina model is the minimum spec I'd expect.

I don't think the 13" needs to be designed like the retina model but like the Air. Notice the $100 price drop puts the Air and Pro on par. If they made a retina 13", the 13" Air would be history. They need to merge them but they can't yet because SSD isn't cheap enough and the Haswell chips will be much better for the enclosure size.

It's not right to blame any decisions people don't agree with on Steve Jobs not being at the company and ignore good decisions made without him.
post #3 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


I think people need to get over this. The people at Apple, including Steve Jobs make decisions weighing up a number of factors. They couldn't have the entry-level 15" MBP at $2200 so they couldn't discontinue the old model or else they'd have to sacrifice something from the retina model. The current entry retina model is the minimum spec I'd expect.
I don't think the 13" needs to be designed like the retina model but like the Air. Notice the $100 price drop puts the Air and Pro on par. If they made a retina 13", the 13" Air would be history. They need to merge them but they can't yet because SSD isn't cheap enough and the Haswell chips will be much better for the enclosure size.
It's not right to blame any decisions people don't agree with on Steve Jobs not being at the company and ignore good decisions made without him.

What you say has some truth to it, but it would also not be right to continually apologize for every bad decision made at Apple, and disrespectful to keep saying "Steve Jobs would have mucked that up, too".  A more honest analysis is simply that some bad decisions would still have been made if Jobs were alive, but many other bad decisions would have been avoided.  Letting the Mac Pro languish as it has, and that awful rollout of the "new" Mac Pro this week?  No way would Jobs have overseen such madness.  Pointing this out is as much a tribute to Steve Jobs as it is a condemnation of the tool currently serving as CEO.

post #4 of 37

If Steve were still alive, would he still want to kill Android? Most likely yes. I view Steve Jobs very highly then and now though he is gone and Tim Cook is in. I don't see Tim Cook as another John Sculley though time will tell.

 

I think there are good people at Apple who will continue to do good things. I just hope they get over all this lawsuit garbage so they can simply keep moving forward at a faster pace without having to stop.

 

As for the strategy and to not veer completely off topic, I think it is going to be a while before we are in the post PC world that Steve envisioned. There will always be a need for fast computers to do great things. It will be a while before tablets and such like the iPad catch up with what say a MBP can do at least in my opinion.

 

We've come a long way in 10 years. I remember my old Pentium III Gateway PC and to compare it to my Mac mini now is night and day. I think back to the NES days and to compare them to the N64 days as another example of supreme innovation.

 

So what does the future hold? Well, I think Apple will continue to remain with Intel as Intel will remain strong. Their product line of releasing fast processors with more improved integrated graphics helps, Samsung has a new CEO with strong ties to Apple and they are a good company which helps, and once again as mentioned before; Apple has a good group that thinks way ahead.

 

I apologize to keep veering off course though all of those factors will help drive things to a new world of technology.

post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Letting the Mac Pro languish as it has, and that awful rollout of the "new" Mac Pro this week?  No way would Jobs have overseen such madness.

So what would he have done? Made sure it got upgraded to Sandy Bridge Xeons for a whopping 40% performance jump and 7970 for a whopping also 40% performance jump vs the 5870.

Sure USB 3, well here's a $50 card:

http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10493

Oh Thunderbolt, the technology that all the Mac Pro buyers keep dissing as irrelevant when there's much faster PCI slots.

Instead what they did was improve the performance per dollar:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1384227

The entry level still sucks, it only went up about 10% for the same price but the 12-core one is about 50% faster than the 8-core for 10% more money, which is pretty much what you'd get from Sandy Bridge.

I don't really see it as a terrible update. The delay has been caused by Intel - the Mac Pro should have been launched late last year. Also, when was the last time you heard Steve Jobs introduce a new Mac Pro model? Way back in 2005 when it still mattered because desktops were big business.

Here's a little blast from the past about what the priority was:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=B6iF6yTiNlw#t=1334s

Performance. Per. Watt.

Not a priority really in a massive workstation as you can just add more watts - arguably some of IBM's high-end server chips would have kept the tower chugging along quite happily vs Intel and AMD. The gaming consoles use PPC:

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/343191/next-xbox-to-boast-ridiculously-powerful-16-core-cpu/

The priority drifted towards performance per watt because that's where the growth was.

If Steve was still here, he would have stood where Schiller was introducing the retina Macbook Pro and exactly the same thing would have happened with the Mac Pro. The only difference is Steve Jobs would never have clarified their decision in an email.
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


So what would he have done? Made sure it got upgraded to Sandy Bridge Xeons for a whopping 40% performance jump and 7970 for a whopping also 40% performance jump vs the 5870.
Sure USB 3, well here's a $50 card:
http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10493
Oh Thunderbolt, the technology that all the Mac Pro buyers keep dissing as irrelevant when there's much faster PCI slots.
Instead what they did was improve the performance per dollar:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1384227
The entry level still sucks, it only went up about 10% for the same price but the 12-core one is about 50% faster than the 8-core for 10% more money, which is pretty much what you'd get from Sandy Bridge.
I don't really see it as a terrible update. The delay has been caused by Intel - the Mac Pro should have been launched late last year. Also, when was the last time you heard Steve Jobs introduce a new Mac Pro model? Way back in 2005 when it still mattered because desktops were big business.
 

Okay Marvin you know better than this. Usb3 cards have been out for a while, but drivers have been flaky. They'd be a better solution if leveraging a native driver stack provided by Apple. You say they improved performance per dollar, but all they did was pass on Intel's pricing adjustments on older technology. Assuming a similar markup, we would have seen a much better update from Sandy Bridge E. You could have placed a significantly faster 6 core at that $3k price point, and you'd have reasonable performance scaling from upcoming top Ivy imac into 6 core Mac Pro. They used the W3565 at $2500 as it now retails at $300 like the W3530. The W3680 dropped from $1000~ to 600. The prior $3kish option started at $600 at the time of release. All they did was flake out on a board update and readjust pricing like it's a new day one with a couple cpu changes to fill in gaps where appropriate as opposed to an appropriate update after such a long cycle. The delay from Intel just means they had time to consider their decisions.

 

The lower 12 core is using these now. If you looked at similarly priced options these might push it to $4k, but it would be a pretty sweet rig and an immensely better option than you have with the upgraded 12 core options currently offered.

 

http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/689182

 

Also consider that the 5870 is still an okay card, but it would be a budget card today. They are still selling it as a $200 upgrade when we've already skipped a generation there. They just messed this one up, and the 10% gain at the low end would have been solved by a complete refresh of the line from top to bottom with the newest available options. It wouldn't have been a revolutionary upgrade, but it would have been better than just repricing the same thing to slightly more sane levels.

post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Assuming a similar markup, we would have seen a much better update from Sandy Bridge E.

The lower 12 core is using these now. If you looked at similarly priced options these might push it to $4k, but it would be a pretty sweet rig and an immensely better option than you have with the upgraded 12 core options currently offered.

The E5-2630 is supposed to offer the best performance/price in the lineup so yeah, that option would have been better:

dual E5-2630 - 17924
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=%5BDual+CPU%5D+Intel+Xeon+E5-2630+%40+2.30GHz

current entry 12-core: dual E645 - 13930
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=%5BDual+CPU%5D+Intel+Xeon+E5645+%40+2.40GHz

30% improvement for $120 more.

I wouldn't describe it as immensely better though. If you had a task that took an hour on the current 12-core, the Sandy Bridge one would take 47 minutes.

It's better but it's hardly going to have people lining up at the door. I would suggest that Mac Pro fans mainly want to see an update as a form of catharsis - a confirmation that Apple still cares. That's not really much justification for a business making a business decision.

There is only a fraction of Mac Pro buyers who would be looking for an upgrade. I doubt 2010 buyers are going to ditch their models after just 2 years of ownership for such a small performance jump. Perhaps early buyers but we're still talking about the $4k price point.

I think short of radical overhaul, any route they chose would have been underwhelming.
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The E5-2630 is supposed to offer the best performance/price in the lineup so yeah, that option would have been better:
dual E5-2630 - 17924
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=%5BDual+CPU%5D+Intel+Xeon+E5-2630+%40+2.30GHz
current entry 12-core: dual E645 - 13930
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=%5BDual+CPU%5D+Intel+Xeon+E5645+%40+2.40GHz
30% improvement for $120 more.
I wouldn't describe it as immensely better though. If you had a task that took an hour on the current 12-core, the Sandy Bridge one would take 47 minutes.
It's better but it's hardly going to have people lining up at the door. I would suggest that Mac Pro fans mainly want to see an update as a form of catharsis - a confirmation that Apple still cares. That's not really much justification for a business making a business decision.
There is only a fraction of Mac Pro buyers who would be looking for an upgrade. I doubt 2010 buyers are going to ditch their models after just 2 years of ownership for such a small performance jump. Perhaps early buyers but we're still talking about the $4k price point.
I think short of radical overhaul, any route they chose would have been underwhelming.

I never suggested anything would create an ipad launch kind of line at the door. I said it was disappointing that they didn't even keep up with Intel's slow pace of updates. Spin off board development to Foxconn, make firmware tweaks, release new thing. The rest of their line goes through spec bumps all the time. Beyond that consider that the premium you pay for performance climbs pretty quickly on any workstation class machine, so there is value in being able to push some of the higher model performance down to the $3k range. I never get what I want though. Like Wizard, I wanted to see an AMD Air.

post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

What you say has some truth to it, but it would also not be right to continually apologize for every bad decision made at Apple, and disrespectful to keep saying "Steve Jobs would have mucked that up, too".  A more honest analysis is simply that some bad decisions would still have been made if Jobs were alive, but many other bad decisions would have been avoided.  Letting the Mac Pro languish as it has, and that awful rollout of the "new" Mac Pro this week?  No way would Jobs have overseen such madness.  Pointing this out is as much a tribute to Steve Jobs as it is a condemnation of the tool currently serving as CEO.

You're right, but it's going too far to describe TC as a tool. He's doing a lot of stuff that SJ could never be bothered to do, including establishing a whole range of systems and processes that Apple needs grow from being an underdog attacker into the market leader. He's also repairing a lot of broken fences. As talented as SJ was, he alienated a lot of people. If you have too many enemies, we all know what happens when they gang up against you. Besides, TC is fully aware of his own limitations and has never cast himself as a new Steve Jobs. He does, however get the vision and is sustaining it as best he can. 

 

Back to the topic at hand...

 

I wonder if the lack of MacPro love is the first genuine clue that post-PC age is upon us: the death of the desktop. Hook a new MacBook Pro with retina display to a desktop display and you effectively have MacPro. Today's most powerful mobile Ivy Bridge processors leave older MacPro models for dead. With the advent of Haswell, the amount of power that can be packed into a laptop will only increase. So why buy two machines when you need only one plus a desktop monitor?

 

The point I'm trying to make is just how much power do you need to run Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, In-Design and other mainstream professional programs? Surely there comes a point where additional processing power makes only a marginal difference to the overall speed and efficiency? The latest 2012 13" MacBook Air is an order of magnitude more powerful than a 2010 13" MacBook Pro, too the point where many pro users are eschewing the 13" Pro model in favour of the Air. This means that the next 13" MacBook Pro has to leap ahead of the Air to maintain a worthwhile differential. Retina MBPs in 13" and 15" will indeed be a step ahead of Air models, but in doing so, perhaps they've made the MacPro redundant? 

 

I am interested to learn what you, Marvin and Caspar think about this.

post #10 of 37
Wow long post - looks like something I'd write.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Shortly after returning to Apple, Steve Jobs outlined the company's computer strategy using a  2 x 2 matrix, with laptops and desktops across one axis and users divided into professional and consumer markets across the other. 
That matrix has been a joke for far too long now. When it was established it made sense because of what was required to rebuild the company. That time has long passed.
Quote:
Today, that matrix seems to hold true: the professional desktop system remains the Mac Pro and the professional laptop remains the MacBook Pro, albeit nicely re-envisioned with the new retina-display 15.4" MBP model. For consumers, the desktop system continues to be the iMac and the consumer laptop has evolved from the MacBook to the MacBook Air
This is garbage, there are more professionals these days using AIRs and iMacs than the so-called professional machines. Nothing Apple sells any more is truly consummer grade except for perhaps the Mini. The consummer market is cheap.
Quote:
However, if Steve had been introducing the new MacBook Pro line, I have no doubt that he would have simultaneously launched a 13" MacBook Pro with a retina display as well as the 15.4" model.
You really need to grow up with this "if" nonsense, you have no idea why the decisions where made to go this route. Beyond that Steve has screwed up countless new product releases in the past.
Quote:
If retina equipped MacBook Pros are the future for Professional users, then the older range is now outdated and irrelevant. It seems very "un-Steve" to continue selling the first generation unibody MBPs.
Again stop with the ifs and the un-Steves! No body wants to hear it. Frankly what Apple is doing here would be considered good business when transitioning to new technology. The have a sales cushion should anything go wrong with ramp up of the new technology.
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Some people have been quick to point out that the retention of the older MBP line-up was due to the need to offer a range of Pro laptops across different price points. This excuse seems lame. Apple has the power to price as it wishes. It also has the power to inspire revolutions that drive change. So this makes me ask why no 13" retina MacBook Pro now? 
Maybe they don't have the screens? Or maybe they thought that Intel integrated GPUs could drive the screens and then learned latter that isn't the case. There are all sorts of maybes that could be real possibilities. It really doesn't do any good to speculate now that we have shipping product.
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I don't buy hardware design limitations.If it was impossible to fit the necessary components into a 13" enclosure without a DVD/CD drive, then something has to give. The big issue is clearly battery life and the need for a discrete GPU to power the retina display. But I doubt that the technical issues are beyond the abilities of Apples design and hardware engineering teams. 
Why worry about it at this time? Think about this all the notebooks got updated to some extent. You may not like specific updates but at least you got them. Look instead at what potential desktop users got. Now there is a real discussion.
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The other thing I don't buy is the lack of user-upgradeability built into the new MacBook Pro. The SSD capacities are inadequate for Pro machines. I realise that cost is a genuine issue, but this surely makes a strong case for allowing users to buy and fit larger capacity SSD drives as they become available (and affordable).
You have repeated this idea again that the SSD are upgradable in the RMBP, that is garbage. The SSD is on a card similar to the ones in the AIRs. As to SSD capacities Apple is giving us state of the art options here for a note book. Can some of us use more? Certainly we could but the question is where would you put such storage in the current design? At least there are now two TB ports which is a huge plus for this machine.
Quote:
If that's true for hard disk capacities, it is also true for RAM. It may be that processor and motherboard designs have evolved in such a way that soldering SSD units directly onto them makes more sense, but as things stand a lack of a plausible explanation makes it look as if Apple is treating its customers like idiots. 
What do we call customer that repeatly have said that the SSDs are soldered in when they aren't? As to RAM being solder in that isn't perfect but at least Apple has grown up a bit and isn't charging massive amounts for a RAM upgrade. So if somebody buys this machine without enough RAM for their needs then, yeah I guess they are idiots.
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So while the the new Retina MacBook Pro is undoubtedly impressive, I can't help feeling that it is a bit half-assed. I remember when the first unibody MacBooks were launched, they were quickly redesigned to eliminate the flimsy battery cover and to increase battery capacity. I wonder if history will repeat itself? Whatever, we need a 13" MacBook pro with a retina display to appear pronto.
My god man have you looked at the pcs of the RMBP? This is perhaps one of the best engineered machines on the market right now. The only thing half assed is your view on the machine.
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The other half-assed hardware upgrade was the MacPro.
Well this I agree with. It isn't just the Mac Pro but the entire desktop line up that has seen zero creativity in years. If one looks at how far Apple has come with the AIRs and the RMBP you have to wonder why the desktops have suffered so. A poor neglected step child gets more attention than the desktop line up.
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How difficult would it have been to add new processors, a new GPU, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0 support?
While we can blame some of this on Intel, Apples role here is significant.

Now we hear talk of a significantly updated Mac Pro next year. I'm hoping these official leaks are Apples way of saying don't buy this Mac Pro unless you really need it as we have a major update coming. All in all though they created a significant mess with the way this role out was handled and alienated many customers. The least hey could have done was come clean at WWDC and publically stated before role out, that the Mac Pro was getting an interim update. The hostility level would have been far less.
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Tim Cook's message of reassurance was a commendable response, but how did Apple get this so wrong? As someone responsible for buying MacPro systems for a small business, the cost is usually sufficiently high that you don't want to do it that often. A lot of Pro users like to upgrade their laptops every year, but if you're running a business, you want as many years of life out of a desktop machine before you junk it. As things stand, we're very pleased with our Mac Pros. They work well and we have come-up against few problems that would necessitate a move to a more powerful system. We like Apple's incremental approach to upgrading systems because it reduces training and business risk. But,you know what, it really is time for a proper refresh. The net of this is that I feel Pro users have been let down buy Apple. 
They haven't been let down so much as given a poor option. In otherwords Apple realized that they needed to offer something better than the current Mac Pros as a hold over, but never indicated to customers what was going on. Further they never put the effort into the upgrade they should have. It does demonstrate a lack of ability to interface well with Pro users. The thing that really kills me though is a 3 year old video card, that is a move only a complete idiot would make.
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With the MacBook Air consumers have been served well. These laptops are great machines. But the iMac, like the MacPro desktops, was also due for a refresh. Again, how difficult would it have been to to add new processors and GPUs? Apple could have bumped both the iMac and MacPro when Ivy Bridge launched a while back. So it is fair to say that consumers have been let down by the lack of an iMac refresh.
Apple does have a pattern of whipping the finger at desktop users. Frankly this is getting rather old, as is the same old crappy desktop hardware. The only thing Apple might have up their sleeves is an iMac and Mini roll out for the new OS release. However tying desktop hardware to a low profile roll out of Mountain Lion just sends the wrong message to desktop users.
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In searching for answers to what I hope will be unrepeated miss-steps, I wonder if Apple has been a bit premature in announcing the post-PC age? 
Don't obsess with marketing talk.
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Despite the advent of the iPad for both pro users and consumers, I'd say that both desktop and laptop computers remain viable machines. As good as the iPad is, there are are a number of heavy duty tasks that are still performed better by a computer with a large screen and a keyboard. That's true for pro users (think video editing, image manipulation, handling large spreadsheets, creating image-intensive documents and presentations, designing applications and so on). It's also true for consumer users, may of whom perform the same tasks on a recreational basis. As larger touch screen devices appear, it seems likely that we'll move away from vertically mounted screens to horizontally positioned slates. The trouble is that they haven't been invented yet. When they come, voice input systems should aid the transition for desktop to pad. I tend to think that this transition will be gradual and driven as much by advances in software and UI design than system hardware design. So, for the moment, traditional laptop and desktop computers remain relevant.
I don't know what you are talking about above. It really sounds like you pay far to much attention to Apples marketing. IPad might be the best thing to come out of Apple but that doesn't mean that people will stop using other hardware.

In any event you act like Apples attitude towards desktop users is something new. It isn't at all. It has been this way well before 2008 when I brought my MBP. Note that impart the MBP was purchased because Apple didn't have viable desktops back then and now in 2012 they still don't. In fact the line up hasn't changed one bit. They still have an iMac that no rational technically minded person would purchase, the Mini is still a castrated the machine and the Mac Pro is still a grossly over priced out sized box. Mean while the laptop line up has drastically been reengineered and verupy well done if I might add.
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Meanwhile, as processor advances give us ever more powerful machines, another hugely relevant factor is that the distinction between business and consumer machines is become less marked.

Frankly this is garbage too. The consumer / pro line up is an allusion. About the only thing that comes close to being a consumer machine is the Mini which frankly a terrible value for most consumers. These days people buy what fits their needs.
Quote:
I mean that today's 13" MacBook Air is more powerful than recent 13" MacBook Pros. Similarly, the iMac is more powerful than previous MacPros. At the risk of repeating Bill Gates misconceived remark, that "512 kb should be enough memory for just about anyone", it seems that the law of diminishing returns will eventually apply to laptop and desktop computers. In the meantime, Pro users seem to find inevitable ways to use an extra power they gain in new machines. What I'm saying is that if there is demand, why not meet it? 
Come on man - todays computers are more powerful than yesterday's, where is the surprise in that.

As to Pro users I suspect that Apples foul up with the Mac Pro release is a sign that they intend to meet the needs of Pro users with a significantly faster machine. For whatever reason that comes in 2013.
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After Steve's death many people will look for opportunities to say that the company has lost focus. I don't think that for a moment, but leading so many talented employees requires real vision, unshakeable beliefs and the strength of character to carry through ideas from birth until the time they need to be killed.

So what makes you think this is a problem? As bad as this foul up with the WWDC roll outs was, nothing has changed significantly at Apple. Frankly I started to track Apple well before 2008 when I switched from Linux to the Mac as my primary machine. Sadly nothing has really changed, if you want decent desktop hardware you are screwed when it comes to Macs. It is no wonder the Hackentosh community has continued to grow.

The only thing significantly different with this WWDC is the terrible handling of the Mac Pro release. This will haunt Apple all this year and into next year until the Mac Pros replacement debuts. It might even haunt them after that if the Mac Pros replacement is another piece of uninspired crap.

That leaves us with the iMac and Mini waiting for updates. If people think back a bit this isn't the first time this has happened either. So the question becomes where the hell are they? If that question isn't answered around the roll out of Mountain Lion then we have real issues that Apple will need to address. What makes this frustrating is that the pattern of ignoring the desktop is just getting worst with really pathetic updates each year in the face of strong laptop innovation. So if these machines come and it is YET another half hearted effort then yah people will justifiably be up in arms. However let's not drag Steve into this, this attitude has been around well before 2008. Anybody that has followed Apple for as long as I have is well aware of the problem, that is why we post about the XMac, decent Mini configurations and a serviceable iMac. I think you need to pop open a beer an try to open up your mind and be a bit more objective, the anti desktop mentality at Apple has been around a long time.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

I wonder if the lack of MacPro love is the first genuine clue that post-PC age is upon us: the death of the desktop. Hook a new MacBook Pro with retina display to a desktop display and you effectively have MacPro. Today's most powerful mobile Ivy Bridge processors leave older MacPro models for dead. With the advent of Haswell, the amount of power that can be packed into a laptop will only increase. So why buy two machines when you need only one plus a desktop monitor?

The point I'm trying to make is just how much power do you need to run Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, In-Design and other mainstream professional programs? Surely there comes a point where additional processing power makes only a marginal difference to the overall speed and efficiency? The latest 2012 13" MacBook Air is an order of magnitude more powerful than a 2010 13" MacBook Pro, too the point where many pro users are eschewing the 13" Pro model in favour of the Air. This means that the next 13" MacBook Pro has to leap ahead of the Air to maintain a worthwhile differential. Retina MBPs in 13" and 15" will indeed be a step ahead of Air models, but in doing so, perhaps they've made the MacPro redundant? 

I am interested to learn what you, Marvin and Caspar think about this.

It's a point of contention with a lot of people, suggesting that desktops will go away. I've long been firmly on the side that no consumer machine would be replacing the Pro desktops since the PowerPC era where updates were slow, poor and expensive and largely continued right through Apple using Core 2 Duos (which weren't hyper-threaded).

Then late 2009/2010 arrived and the Core-i series made the jump to 2-core/4-thread. Just a year later in 2011, came the quad-core i7s with 8 threads. Seeing the performance of these next to a Mac Pro was such an eye-opener. Then with SSD prices dropping and the performance going to 500MB/s, RAM limits moving to 16-32GB, mobile GPUs maxing out the highest-end games and mainstream external PCI in the form of Thunderbolt, all the boxes were checked.

The need for servers and the highest performance possible won't go away but a sole workstation doesn't need to tackle all of these needs. Some people want to move the heavy processing into the cloud. The more that people become mobile, the more that makes sense.

It doesn't make a lot of sense for creative software where you have massive amounts of data, shared files, multiple projects and high-end apps but these programs are moving towards real-time performance, which is where they all need to be. This is happening by using the GPU more in cases like Motion and Adobe's Mercury engine as well as higher-end compositing and rendering. I'm firmly of the belief that rendering should be smarter and not harder. Better algorithms, workflows, hardware designs and APIs trump transistor count.

Everybody has a performance threshold too (an end-game). Whether they need to edit 1000 audio tracks at once, render CGI at 1080p, 2K, whatever. There's a threshold beyond which, the need for better is gone. For manufacturers, that's when they can't offer a compelling upgrade and not just a compelling upgrade in its own right but in a large enough volume to justify it.

Another factor that's coming in to play is the design of processors. The more dense that transistors get, the hotter they get. This means that they have no option but to reduce the power running through the chips. The more they do this, the more that the smaller power draw allows these high-end chips to be used in smaller form factors so large boxes just aren't a requirement any more.

An uncomfortable fact (but a fact nonetheless) is that Apple could discontinue their entire desktop line tomorrow and would still be the most valuable and successful company in the world. Desktop users like to believe they hold some influence over Apple because of legacy, wealth, talent and so on but it's empty rhetoric. While Apple isn't perfect, they make the best decisions and the best computing experience out of anyone in the industry and nobody is walking away from that. There are threats of abandoning Apple if they drop the Pro but I guarantee that people who are so invested in the platform to make such a threat would rather max out a MBP than go to Windows.

It all comes down to timing. I think the Mac Pro offers something compelling over a MBP today but I don't think the volume of users it will appeal to in 5 years time will be enough to justify its existence. I think they need to start designing it the way they design their other machines - by thinking about who is using it, what they need it for and build it the best way they know how. To me, the Mac Pro respresents the best possibility in the near future of having a personal supercomputer and it used to be marketed like this. It has turned into little more than a very expensive DIY box where you only get 85% more performance out of a $3800 model vs a $2000 laptop or iMac.

I think there's a place for a personal supercomputer, an affordable desktop with a 27" display and the Mini for the next few years but it's hard to determine the timing of any technology shifts when you can't see how or when new technology will come in and change everything. They are already testing ReRAM with SSD and getting amazing results:

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2012/06/15/reram-ssd-boost/1

They could ship 256GB SSDs with 64GB ReRAM and you may not need RAM any more if they can get the bandwidth in the 20-60GB/s range. Even if it wore out with the SSD, you buy another SSD and get all the RAM back. Zero boot time, zero load time, zero save time. Practically unlimited texture memory for the GPU and compute. With the possibility of 1Tbit/s optical interconnects too, it reduces the Mac Pro to raw CPU performance and like I say, the processor designs will eventually make this irrelevant.

"PCs are going to be like trucks. They're still going to be around. They're still going to have a lot of value but they're going to be used by 1 out of x people. This transformation is going to make some people uneasy - people from the PC world - because the PC has taken us a long way. We like to talk about the post-PC era but when it really starts to happen, I think it's uncomfortable for a lot of people because it's change and a lot of vested interests are going to change. I think that we're embarked on that. Is it the iPad, who knows? Will it happen next year or 5 years or 7 years from now, who knows? But I think we're heading in that direction."

- Steve Jobs

I see the lack of interest in the Mac Pro as a sign of this and it's not just Apple. Walk into any PC store in the world and look how many desktop models they sell and where they are positioned. It's tablets/phones at the front, laptops behind and desktops way in the back. Apple Stores usually have a single Mac Pro unit setup. Is it a bad thing? I don't think so. I love that computers are so small, powerful and affordable now and I am looking forward to them being 20-30x faster over the next decade and maybe my iPad will be my only computer. At $500, I won't be complaining.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

You're right, but it's going too far to describe TC as a tool. He's doing a lot of stuff that SJ could never be bothered to do, including establishing a whole range of systems and processes that Apple needs grow from being an underdog attacker into the market leader. He's also repairing a lot of broken fences. As talented as SJ was, he alienated a lot of people. If you have too many enemies, we all know what happens when they gang up against you. Besides, TC is fully aware of his own limitations and has never cast himself as a new Steve Jobs. He does, however get the vision and is sustaining it as best he can. 
Here is the one fact we got, the "new" Mac Pro launch was screwed up, there is really no other way to paint that. Obviously the buck has to stop someplace and that is TC desk. However people have to realize that Steve screwed up countless product launches himself. Memories are short.

As for today's Apple and TC, I'm sure the team (it was a team effort) had a rational plan in their minds for this release. The problem is they are so out of touch with desktop users needs in general that I think they completely missed the boat when it came to releasing the Mac Pro update. Hopefully the general hostility towards Apple right now will wake them up.
Quote:

Back to the topic at hand...

I wonder if the lack of MacPro love is the first genuine clue that post-PC age is upon us: the death of the desktop. Hook a new MacBook Pro with retina display to a desktop display and you effectively have MacPro.
Where is this crap coming from? Even as bad as the Mac Pro update was there is simply no way that any of the Mac Book Pros can compete with it for professional users. The sustained performance capabilities aren't even close. This whole concept of a MBP being as good as a Mac Pro just blows my mind. I mean really what is your comparison suite Numbers and Safari?

One can certainly ripun demanding Apps on a MBP, such as XCode, but even there a Mac Pro can be a huge advantage for people that can leverage the machine.
Quote:
Today's most powerful mobile Ivy Bridge processors leave older MacPro models for dead.
If you believe that then I have a bridge for sale that you might like. It is certainly the case that if you compare a 4 core MBP to a really old 4 core Mac Pro the MBP might win, but that means nothing when 8 or more core Mac Pros can be had.
Quote:
With the advent of Haswell, the amount of power that can be packed into a laptop will only increase. So why buy two machines when you need only one plus a desktop monitor?
You do realize that the same technology that puts Haswell into a laptop can also put many far faster cores into a Mac Pro? If a laptop is fast enough for your work then fine. However even today best Mac Pro is barely fast enough for many users. It is all about time is money. There is a huge advantage for a machine that can cut hours off of jobs that take to long as it is.
Quote:
The point I'm trying to make is just how much power do you need to run Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, In-Design and other mainstream professional programs?
This is so easy, as much power as it takes to make using the software interactive and without any lag. Further such a machine must do so without dragging down other apps running on the machine as Pro users multitask.
Quote:
Surely there comes a point where additional processing power makes only a marginal difference to the overall speed and efficiency?
For single apps this does happen, word processing is an example. Most spread sheets can keep up with their users. However it is pointless to discuss such as that is what happens when technology marches on and apps mature. What you fail to realize though is that Apps get more complex and attempt to process more data in parallel so that in the end hardware gains often mean little.

The good thing here is that we can now ripun software on our Macs that would have required a mainframe or engineering workstation only a couple of years ago. In effect the Mac is now powerful enough to replace the workstations Sun, Apollo, Prime and other use to make. That doesn't mean a Mac is fast enough just that the economics dictate the use of PC type hardware where feasable.
Quote:
The latest 2012 13" MacBook Air is an order of magnitude more powerful than a 2010 13" MacBook Pro, too the point where many pro users are eschewing the 13" Pro model in favour of the Air.
Yet the 13" Pro still out sells the AIR. Again it is Asinine to compare today's hardware to what was available two years ago much less four years ago. The fact remains that even though today's AIRs are excellent the 13" MBP has a lot going for it and can sifpgnificantly out perform an AIR.
Quote:
This means that the next 13" MacBook Pro has to leap ahead of the Air to maintain a worthwhile differential.
BS!!!! If that was the case the 13" MBP wouldn't be Apples best selling notebook. Besides there are enough idiots out there that would buy a Pro simply because it has "Pro" in the name.
Quote:
Retina MBPs in 13" and 15" will indeed be a step ahead of Air models, but in doing so, perhaps they've made the MacPro redundant? 
Sales figures will determine that. However if you think people will give up their traditional MBPs easily I think you will be surprised. After the early adopter blitz I think you will find the traditional MBP doing well.

Beyond that you need to grasp the concept of a transitional machine. It would have been completely stupid on Apples part to drop the old MBP designs when ramping up production of this new machine. The technology risk is real, the stock holders would revolt if a glitch or demand meet that Apple had nothing to sell.

One day the traditional MBPs will fad away but that is a ways off.
Quote:
I am interested to learn what you, Marvin and Caspar think about this.

Well I don't know about those guys but I think you are off your rocker here. Mostly because I think you are trying to read between the line and doing a poor job of it. For example why the stress over the lack of a retina 13" MBP? Is it that hard to understand that a number of factors could have delayed that machine? As to the traditional machines still being around, it is called covering ones a$$ and further it is likely a good way to keep change adverse customers happy.

Business is all about risk and rewards. Generally you want to minimize risk and maximize rewards. Apples launch of the first retina type laptop is their effort in maximizing reward. Carefully selection of the model to do that on and covering their butts with existing hardware is an attempt to minimize risk. I really don't see the point in reading more into it.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It's a point of contention with a lot of people, suggesting that desktops will go away. I've long been firmly on the side that no consumer machine would be replacing the Pro desktops since the PowerPC era where updates were slow, poor and expensive and largely continued right through Apple using Core 2 Duos (which weren't hyper-threaded).
Then late 2009/2010 arrived and the Core-i series made the jump to 2-core/4-thread. Just a year later in 2011, came the quad-core i7s with 8 threads. Seeing the performance of these next to a Mac Pro was such an eye-opener. Then with SSD prices dropping and the performance going to 500MB/s, RAM limits moving to 16-32GB, mobile GPUs maxing out the highest-end games and mainstream external PCI in the form of Thunderbolt, all the boxes were checked.
This is interesting because in many cases a laptop is all people need performance wise. Then again the same can be said about the iPad. However the many do not have the impact the few have, the people that really need the Mac Pro do use it in ways a laptop cold never manage.
Quote:
The need for servers and the highest performance possible won't go away but a sole workstation doesn't need to tackle all of these needs. Some people want to move the heavy processing into the cloud. The more that people become mobile, the more that makes sense.
I've thought a lot about this and I'm really liking the idea of going back to a "desktop" machine that I can access from anywhere with my iPad. A personal cloud machine if you will. It is one of the reasons I'd like to see Apple pull it's head out of it's butt and get serious about desktop machines. I'm a firm believer that Apples desktop sales are a self fulfilling prophecy in that they ignore the line and as a result people ignore the line. That and that the good values are in Apples laptops.

In any event this is I suspect why Apple is so focused on iCloud. The problem is they are screwing it up more than they are fixing it. I'd much rather see apps talking directly to my Mac from my iPad, in some cases remote execution would help too. If Apple would make this easy, my need for a laptop would almost disappear.

I've tried to get into iCloud but it doesn't always work that well. I'd rather have the cloud on my own hardware.
Quote:
It doesn't make a lot of sense for creative software where you have massive amounts of data, shared files, multiple projects and high-end apps but these programs are moving towards real-time performance, which is where they all need to be.
True but as the programs move closer and closer to realtime others will follow up that once again challenges the hardware.
Quote:
This is happening by using the GPU more in cases like Motion and Adobe's Mercury engine as well as higher-end compositing and rendering. I'm firmly of the belief that rendering should be smarter and not harder. Better algorithms, workflows, hardware designs and APIs trump transistor count.
I've notice a huge bias in these forums to image processing and the like. That is all well and good but there are all sorts of demanding uses outside of image processing for high performance computers. Many user would love to migrate off clusters or at least minimize the size of those clusters. I really don't see the need for workstation like computers going away.
Quote:
Everybody has a performance threshold too (an end-game). Whether they need to edit 1000 audio tracks at once, render CGI at 1080p, 2K, whatever. There's a threshold beyond which, the need for better is gone. For manufacturers, that's when they can't offer a compelling upgrade and not just a compelling upgrade in its own right but in a large enough volume to justify it.
For some apps we are well past that threshold. Most office type apps come to mind here, though poor programming and design can impact performance (OpenOffice and MS Office). I just don't believe all users are happy with their computers performance, it is amazing how milliseconds of delay can build up into significant user frustration. Maybe these are type A personalities but the fact remains lagy computers lead to keyboard replacements.
Quote:
Another factor that's coming in to play is the design of processors. The more dense that transistors get, the hotter they get. This means that they have no option but to reduce the power running through the chips. The more they do this, the more that the smaller power draw allows these high-end chips to be used in smaller form factors so large boxes just aren't a requirement any more.
The other problem is that large motherboards materially impact performance by separating components over long (electrically) distances.
Quote:
An uncomfortable fact (but a fact nonetheless) is that Apple could discontinue their entire desktop line tomorrow and would still be the most valuable and successful company in the world.
A lot of companies have suffered greatly by burning the good will of their customers. I know that a lot of people believe that the customer can't impact a company but history is pretty clear they can. Just look at what happened to Nokia, RIM and even MS. Microsoft is a good example here due to the many public boondoggles that drove many customers to Apple.

So maybe Apple could remain successful for awhile after dumping the desktop. Long term it breds I'll will and results in migration away from the platform.
Quote:
Desktop users like to believe they hold some influence over Apple because of legacy, wealth, talent and so on but it's empty rhetoric.
I think it is a big mistake to think they have no influence. The longer Apples belligerence with regard to the desktop goes on the more customers they will loose. It only takes Apple realizing that yes these customers are important and that they have legitimate complaints before we get a reaction.
Quote:
While Apple isn't perfect, they make the best decisions and the best computing experience out of anyone in the industry and nobody is walking away from that. There are threats of abandoning Apple if they drop the Pro but I guarantee that people who are so invested in the platform to make such a threat would rather max out a MBP than go to Windows.
Your confidence is strong here but I believe it is misplaced. The people that really need the Pro would have no choice but to move to another platform.
Quote:

It all comes down to timing. I think the Mac Pro offers something compelling over a MBP today but I don't think the volume of users it will appeal to in 5 years time will be enough to justify its existence.
This is a real problem. They have put the Pro into a price segment that few can justify.
Quote:
I think they need to start designing it the way they design their other machines - by thinking about who is using it, what they need it for and build it the best way they know how.
There entire desktop line up needs this approach. The line up has not changed one bit since the days of the PowerPC. However user needs have changed significantly, but we are still stuck with un accessible hardware that has really crappy performance for the price. Except for the upper configurations of the Mac Pro which have excellent performance and accessibility but are priced out of most users range.
Quote:
To me, the Mac Pro respresents the best possibility in the near future of having a personal supercomputer and it used to be marketed like this. It has turned into little more than a very expensive DIY box where you only get 85% more performance out of a $3800 model vs a $2000 laptop or iMac.
I don't know about the performance claim, relative to the laptops, but Apple lost track of high performance a long time ago. At least high performance at a reasonable cost.
Quote:
I think there's a place for a personal supercomputer, an affordable desktop with a 27" display and the Mini for the next few years but it's hard to determine the timing of any technology shifts when you can't see how or when new technology will come in and change everything. They are already testing ReRAM with SSD and getting amazing results:
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2012/06/15/reram-ssd-boost/1
They could ship 256GB SSDs with 64GB ReRAM and you may not need RAM any more if they can get the bandwidth in the 20-60GB/s range. Even if it wore out with the SSD, you buy another SSD and get all the RAM back. Zero boot time, zero load time, zero save time. Practically unlimited texture memory for the GPU and compute. With the possibility of 1Tbit/s optical interconnects too, it reduces the Mac Pro to raw CPU performance and like I say, the processor designs will eventually make this irrelevant.
There are so many competeing technologies out there it is hard to say which way Apple will go for storage and main memory. What Apple needs to do is make sure that the new, coming Mac Pro actually is flexible enough to take advantage of some of these technologies as they come to market. Of course this requires working with Intel, but something needs to break loose as current designs are hitting a dead end.
Quote:
"PCs are going to be like trucks. They're still going to be around. They're still going to have a lot of value but they're going to be used by 1 out of x people. This transformation is going to make some people uneasy - people from the PC world - because the PC has taken us a long way. We like to talk about the post-PC era but when it really starts to happen, I think it's uncomfortable for a lot of people because it's change and a lot of vested interests are going to change. I think that we're embarked on that. Is it the iPad, who knows? Will it happen next year or 5 years or 7 years from now, who knows? But I think we're heading in that direction."
- Steve Jobs
I see the lack of interest in the Mac Pro as a sign of this and it's not just Apple. Walk into any PC store in the world and look how many desktop models they sell and where they are positioned. It's tablets/phones at the front, laptops behind and desktops way in the back. Apple Stores usually have a single Mac Pro unit setup. Is it a bad thing? I don't think so. I love that computers are so small, powerful and affordable now and I am looking forward to them being 20-30x faster over the next decade and maybe my iPad will be my only computer. At $500, I won't be complaining.

Well the problem here is that that is marketing to the masses. It is fairly safe to say more people need a phone than they need a laptop or desktop.

I see we share a similar love of the iPad. However the iPad isn't the solution to ever problem even though it is excellent for many. In the end I still think the way of the future is a personal or maybe family "desktop" that an iPad can access directly. For many things going all the way to the cloud makes no sense. For example I just can't see the wisdom in media access from the cloud in your own home. I quoted desktop above because I see this machine serving multiple purposes one of which would be as a store house or server to the iPhone and iPad like devices. The big point here being to minimize that data usage that we will be paying for. The other thing it would do is run apps not suitable for these devices.

Apple some years ago prompted the idea of a digital hub. While that idea never seemed to fully deploy, we do see some of those concepts living on in various pieces of Apples software base. I'd like to see Apple revisit that hub concept a bit. Mainly because iCloud is such a mixed experience.
post #14 of 37

Tailpipe,

 

The MacBook Pro with Retina Display is a starting point.  Apple couldn't just simultaneously cut the cord with existing MacBook Pro models.  The new retina model is a radical departure.  The world will need to catch up: getting rid of optical media and preparing apps for retina screens.  Some of the tech that makes the new model possible is expensive right now — solid state storage cost more $$$ than hard drives and surely that new display isn't cheap.  Apple couldn't just ditch the previous design because they still need to move units ($$$) and not everyone can jump yet (still need built-in Ethernet & optical drives, don't really need retina but have to have Ivy Bridge).  If you're looking for when Apple has done something similar:  Apple still sells the iPad 2 non-retina screen along with "the new iPad" with retina screen.  And back when Steve Jobs was at the helm, I recall Apple announcing the 15-inch MacBook Pro at Macworld in 2006 all the while still selling a 12- and 17-inch PowerBook G4.  So it's not like Apple hasn't done this before. If you read the tea leaves Apple is waiting for enough supply of retina panels to launch a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display.  This will probably happen in the fall right after the iPhone 5 launch.

You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
post #15 of 37
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

 

I wonder if the lack of MacPro love is the first genuine clue that post-PC age is upon us: the death of the desktop. Hook a new MacBook Pro with retina display to a desktop display and you effectively have MacPro. Today's most powerful mobile Ivy Bridge processors leave older MacPro models for dead. With the advent of Haswell, the amount of power that can be packed into a laptop will only increase. So why buy two machines when you need only one plus a desktop monitor?

I'm looking at it from the opposite end. It won't be death but I see tablets taking a huge bite out of laptop sales. I have never wanted or needed a laptop. I've always been a desktop guy. But the iPad is making me think that a portable tablet would be a nice supplement to a desktop computer. When and if Apple ever gets on the ball and offers a mini tower. I refuse to get locked into something that has no expansion and is hard to open. I'm an adult. I don't need a computer with a child resistant cap on it.

post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

 

With the MacBook Air consumers have been served well. These laptops are great machines. But the iMac, like the MacPro desktops, was also due for a refresh. Again, how difficult would it have been to to add new processors and GPUs? Apple could have bumped both the iMac and MacPro when Ivy Bridge launched a while back. So it is fair to say that consumers have been let down by the lack of an iMac refresh.

 

My hope is that the top end iMac will sport the GTX 680M and Apple is just waiting for enough GPUs to launch the iMac.  Like you know, early July...

post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The need for servers and the highest performance possible won't go away but a sole workstation doesn't need to tackle all of these needs. Some people want to move the heavy processing into the cloud. The more that people become mobile, the more that makes sense.
It doesn't make a lot of sense for creative software where you have massive amounts of data, shared files, multiple projects and high-end apps but these programs are moving towards real-time performance, which is where they all need to be. This is happening by using the GPU more in cases like Motion and Adobe's Mercury engine as well as higher-end compositing and rendering. I'm firmly of the belief that rendering should be smarter and not harder. Better algorithms, workflows, hardware designs and APIs trump transistor count.
Everybody has a performance threshold too (an end-game). Whether they need to edit 1000 audio tracks at once, render CGI at 1080p, 2K, whatever. There's a threshold beyond which, the need for better is gone. For manufacturers, that's when they can't offer a compelling upgrade and not just a compelling upgrade in its own right but in a large enough volume to justify it.
Another factor that's coming in to play is the design of processors. The more dense that transistors get, the hotter they get. This means that they have no option but to reduce the power running through the chips. The more they do this, the more that the smaller power draw allows these high-end chips to be used in smaller form factors so large boxes just aren't a requirement any more.
An uncomfortable fact (but a fact nonetheless) is that Apple could discontinue their entire desktop line tomorrow and would still be the most valuable and successful company in the world. Desktop users like to believe they hold some influence over Apple because of legacy, wealth, talent and so on but it's empty rhetoric. While Apple isn't perfect, they make the best decisions and the best computing experience out of anyone in the industry and nobody is walking away from that. There are threats of abandoning Apple if they drop the Pro but I guarantee that people who are so invested in the platform to make such a threat would rather max out a MBP than go to Windows.

I think there's a place for a personal supercomputer, an affordable desktop with a 27" display and the Mini for the next few years but it's hard to determine the timing of any technology shifts when you can't see how or when new technology will come in and change everything. 
"PCs are going to be like trucks. They're still going to be around. They're still going to have a lot of value but they're going to be used by 1 out of x people. This transformation is going to make some people uneasy - people from the PC world - because the PC has taken us a long way. We like to talk about the post-PC era but when it really starts to happen, I think it's uncomfortable for a lot of people because it's change and a lot of vested interests are going to change. I think that we're embarked on that. Is it the iPad, who knows? Will it happen next year or 5 years or 7 years from now, who knows? But I think we're heading in that direction."
- Steve Jobs
I see the lack of interest in the Mac Pro as a sign of this and it's not just Apple. Walk into any PC store in the world and look how many desktop models they sell and where they are positioned. It's tablets/phones at the front, laptops behind and desktops way in the back. Apple Stores usually have a single Mac Pro unit setup. Is it a bad thing? I don't think so. I love that computers are so small, powerful and affordable now and I am looking forward to them being 20-30x faster over the next decade and maybe my iPad will be my only computer. At $500, I won't be complaining.

 

 

A lot of very interesting and informed comments. Thank you, Marvin et al. 

 

The concept of intense processing being done via the cloud is certainly catching on; isn't this what Apple does with its voice recognition technology? You speak, it sends back a raw signal that is translated/ converted / interpreted by a powerful system and then the processed data is sent back to you? If this is the future, our need to have truck-like desktop computers in our offices may recede. 

 

I like the idea of new processors maxing out individual processor types. I don't see Word or Pages running any more efficiently than they did four years ago. I think that will almost certainly be the case for heavy duty video editing / CGI rendering in years to come. We just won't need big desk tops anymore. I mean not everyone will need them. sure, there will always be a few mad scientists who'll take as bigger system as they can. Perhaps these people are the future of the Hackintosh community: power freaks who will prefer to build their own customised workstations. 

 

 

 

post #18 of 37

Interesting forum guys, I think we are on the brink of a radical change of emphasis regarding computers and both the Air and MacBKPro retina are the starting guns, in fact the iPad probably started the post PC era and we are well into the transition period which is why folk are a bit confused by it all, some hanging on while others embrace change more rapidly, its all about mobile processing reaching a near real time turnover coupled with the Internet speeds increasing exponentially over Optical fiber making real-time server use a viable economical and easily scalable alternative to running your private farm, why employ techies buy and expensively house and regularly upgrade expensive small server workstations when all you will need is an iMac or two or even macBkPro in the field and a fast link to Adobes 256core cloud services or the like. where you can upload out-takes from anywhere suitable in the world and have multiple work processes remotely done to order including marketing to customers in real-time, what a cost saving Idea!

 

So who the first volunteering to get left behind then ? think of it this way with the next generation of iMacs will put the creative talent back in your laps. 

Just take for example Photography, I can now upload and edit publish and market professional high resolution takes direct from the MacBkPro, the next generation iMac will do the same for 4k remote real-time video editing direct from location, ok so you may have to find a city optical link first but that's rolling out fast now.

 

And on the other side of the coin convergence is rapidly changing consumer electronics so fast its almost knocking out even some big company names who are dragging their feet against the flow of change, and in the present economical climate one has to keep pace or loose the race.

virtually all consumer data is now live streamed from network cloud servers, and all financial companies have been doing so for years, so it makes sense to run all business processes live on-line with high quality intelligent app all in computers that need no more than a high speed thunderbolt/USB3 input and a suitable optical fiber web connection.

 

So I envisage the next iMac could have a 6core MCPU with 32gbt ram, an NVidea 680M GPU (could even sdi 2 Mcards) with a Tbt of ssd and just maybe a 4K retina screen (hmmm 3D ok maybe that's pushing it...), and 10 Gbt/s  thunderbolt for your beloved existential peripherals should you feel unable to resist the terabyte urge in the short term, one other thing... I'd also like to thunderbolt link 2 or more iMacs to share multiple pro apps in real time across screens.and also have another display touch/art-pen surface to plug directly into the iMac. only needing local fast ssd storage for system apps and work in progress.

so your typical HD edit studio may only need 2 iMacs and 2 display work surfaces running logic Aperture or FCP with an online service account rendering and co-location storing with multiple registered users working from anywhere any-time in the clouds. clearly no need for a MacPro any more.

Boeing designed their passenger 787aircraft that way. 

 

virtually any business today can be run from either a MacBkpro or iMac, personal render-farms will shortly be a thing of the past working on and across the net in cyberspace is really a reality and its that future that dictates the design of convergent computing devices,

 

even mainstream gaming is going on-line NVIDIA® GeForce® Grid technology, gamers will have the freedom to play games from the cloud on any convergent display.

which technically heralds the oncoming demise of the last bastion of even the PC mega tower behemoths.

 

The writings on the wall, its going to change the way you work and every kid knows this, as a wildlife video/photographer its set me free to pursue my art,  whats it going to do for you?

post #19 of 37

I don't think there will be a retina display in the next iMac or any iMac or Thunderbolt display in the near future.  When I say near future, I mean the next year or so.  Maybe next summer?  The reason is looking at the desktop pictures that Apple includes with OS X Mountain Lion, the largest images are sized at 3,200 x 2,000.  The desktop pictures went to that dimension in Lion & that was way before the release of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display.  I would think if they were planning on doing the same retina thing to the iMac, the desktop images would be way larger than that so they don't look crappy at the iMac's supposed retina resolution.  One of the desktop pictures in Mountain Lion was used as the desktop picture on the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display that Phil Schiller showed at the WWDC Keynote.

You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
Reply
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

I don't think there will be a retina display in the next iMac or any iMac or Thunderbolt display in the near future.  

Yes disapointing news once again, even when Apple could set a pesident in next generation evolutionary step as it has with the macBkPro retina, they could also bring out a top of the range solid state based 4K 3D iMacPro model albiet expensive retina vertion that would lead the technological wave forward and would make a suitable macPro cloud based desktop workstation replacement, assuming most pros would also be co-using connected rack mt studio specialised modules as well.

The next wave technology is also going to make use of active display touch surfaces which most competitors are already including Apple could make its Monitor into a hi res touchscreen,.

 

Instead as they did with not including Bluray  touch screens and 3D Apple will lag behind the PC world especially when such as the likes of Canons 4K monitor hits the streets exceeding the current performance advantage of Apple displays.

Top Cat really needs to get an SJ type exciting market leading Apple MacOS advantage going again or Risc loosing the long term Pro race.

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

…they could also bring out a top of the range solid state based 4K 3D iMacPro model albeit expensive retina version…

$12,000 for the base model thanks to adding features that are either completely pointless or too expensive for anyone.
Quote:
…would make a suitable macPro cloud based desktop workstation replacement…

I stopped reading at "cloud", because no Mac Pro user will do anything but laugh in your face if you ever suggest that. Many of them would stop reading at "the iMac is a replacement".
Quote:
The next wave technology is also going to make use of active display touch surfaces which most competitors are already including Apple could make its Monitor into a hi res touchscreen,.

Not with OS X. So not for many years.
Quote:
Instead as they did with not including Bluray  touch screens and 3D Apple will lag behind the PC world…

BA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Sorry, it's the truth.
post #22 of 37

Its a bit sad when all you do is negatively knee jerk dissect someones comment line by line for the shear sake of it, a bit like not seeing the wood for the trees and hence missing the larger point of what I was saying without forming your own intellectual opinion in response or maybe that was it?

 

One could say I was probably getting a bit ahead of things today but reality is as things come to be and cloud based professional computing is just around the corner if not already upon us. read up a bit on the Adobe, HPserver and nVidea websites, then maybe re-read all my post again applying a small modicum of vision then I'll be the first to admit I don't always get it spot-on the market place does tend to move in mysterious ways but the evidence is quite obviously stacking up in that direction.

 

 I also seem to recall your similar response a couple of years or so ago when I suggested the demise of disc drives and the advent of a solid state macbk pro, seems you have a certain reluctance to the sound of the march of progress "Talest Skill". but I guess were all entitled...  time will tell, again.

post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

…missing the larger point of what I was saying without forming your own intellectual opinion in response or maybe that was it?

Which part? The retina display bit? They're just too expensive right now. Of course we'll get them and of course we'll even get multitouch. But not in the ways you're thinking.
Quote:
…I was probably getting a bit ahead of things today but reality is as things come to be and cloud based professional computing is just around the corner…

Look, I get what you're saying here, but it's not going to happen. No business is going to put their intellectual property in someone else's cloud. The best we'd see is a gigantic server powering tiny terminals at everyone's desk. Then anyone can log onto any computer and have their files anywhere. Saves time/effort/money for promotions/demotions and the like, but it doesn't mean anything about the hardware, save that it'll get less powerful on the client side (again, this is business, not consumer).
Quote:
 I also seem to recall your similar response a couple of years or so ago when I suggested the demise of disc drives and the advent of a solid state macbk pro

I seriously, SERIOUSLY doubt that I would have ever said the opposite of what I'm saying now about optical drives and solid state HDDs.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Look, I get what you're saying here, but it's not going to happen. No business is going to put their intellectual property in someone else's cloud. The best we'd see is a gigantic server powering tiny terminals at everyone's desk. Then anyone can log onto any computer and have their files anywhere. Saves time/effort/money for promotions/demotions and the like, but it doesn't mean anything about the hardware, save that it'll get less powerful on the client side (again, this is business, not consumer).

 

OK Tallest Skill, its Sunday, so I'll give you a bit of my time in reply... Its nice to see all joining the digital solid state age, but it is time to consider going all the way, a bit like 10 years ago trying to convince companies to get a web presence to remain competitive today its get your head into the clouds or get left behind ! and not having your intellectual property in someone Else's cloud is simply not true...  you bank online don't you?

 

I'll explain, 9 years ago I went pro digital photographer, it was a nightmare, I built up a unit full of apple pro run editing and printing business and tried to orchestrate employees to get it all done right to remain competitive and ended up becoming a new digital age pen pusher for my sins, a far cry from my creative sound stage and studio engineering beginnings, the digital age boxed me into limitations run by big business and was not pretty at all and to top it off cheap HD cameras made such a business impractical as prices tumbled so did profits, who wants to work hard bashing ones head against the wall for peanuts.

 

but over the last couple of years new gear has at last changed that messy toil intensive way of working into the modern era, the new RmacbkPro is truly a new wave of "tiny" computers with power onboard to put even my aging twin processor macpro to shame, far from "tiny terminal" it is a complete video and high res photography in the field pre editing/proofing machine that I can upload takes/rushes direct to a professional photography specialized and contract trusted cloud service business who's reputation depends on their secure probity.

Further more when I get home I know my work has been reassuringly automatically backed up and secure from any location  I work from, I don't have to concern myself with maintaining or updating any other hardware other than my "tiny intelligent terminal". and I don't have to lug around those countless heavy bags either.

 

From my "tiny terminal" I can edit and control all my work anytime from anywhere, whats more I can offload professional workload to other connected professionals like colorist sound guys ect' to finish the job better than I could do even ready by the time I get home and only have to pay for work done all secured within the cloud service, I can employ as many independent contractors as needed when needed, this cuts my pain costs and overheads enormously and still gives independent specialist a boost for their income.

Whats more their is also marketing built in giving me 35 lines of photography product output potential without lifting a finger, OK so I have to press the enter key on my "tiny terminal" to avail myself of such a world wide fully tracked copy-write protected sales service with legal backup that I could not otherwise have the time to be bothered with or afforded.

 

Compared to running my own business all this online cloud service is a tiny cost that I use as and when I want, the result is I have time and peace of mind to now consider my own aspirations to a creative future whether it be working independently or on collaborations or even providing camera services for mainline institutions, 

 

So now to have a new solid state retina ImacPro at home with just virtually as much power as a macpro would give me countless cloud connected possibilities even re-establishing a new direct online sound studio that could easily output direct to iTunes and other such services, and through the new newstand service one can contemplate running ones own magazine with download rights,

now that "tiny terminal" with its head in the live streaming real time clouds surely takes on a whole new meaning, would you not agree?.

 

Have you also looked at the servers being employed in Cloud ISP today 256 core HP Arm stacks in water cooled racks as far as the eye can see would make short thrift of any rendering for film and 3D time lapse with secure remote functioning programs guaranteed as safe as banking your money online which of course you do everyday and as with retina displays costs are tumbling, so my friend who laughs last... 

 

As I said maybe I am just a touch getting ahead of myself for other folks but none the less we all already use cloud services, its already a business norm, soon all services will become cloud streamed to multiple convergent devices 3D video and surround sound and No! Tallest skill  online mainstream 3D streamed gaming... don't go there, my son has just graduated and were already having shall we say "lively technology discussions" about it,  the Matrix is real... wake up!  wake up!. 

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

…a bit like 10 years ago trying to convince companies to get a web presence to remain competitive today its get your head into the clouds or get left behind…

There's a reason you've been having to do this for a decade, you know. I mentioned it before: they don't want to do that. They don't trust the cloud.
Quote:
! and not having your intellectual property in someone Else's cloud is simply not true...  

Right. If they do their own "cloud", built themselves with their own hardware and maintained by them… which defeats the purpose, as anyone can log onto a properly set-up server from anywhere to anywhere without a "cloud" system in place.
Quote:
you bank online don't you?

No.
Quote:
…far from "tiny terminal"…

You miss my point. With a centralized location for everyone's data, client-side computers need not be as powerful, and therefore businesses can save money. I speak primarily of large, cubicle-based firms, but also of any smaller size of business that would want to implement a system like that.

That doesn't exclude or exempt portable or desktop powerhouses, but they would be anywhere from a single to ten percent of the entire installation.
Quote:
…this online cloud service is a tiny cost that I use as and when I want, the result is I have time and peace of mind…

See, you can tell your clients this, and many won't understand, much less care, but others will simply stand up and leave because they don't want their stuff up there. I also can't understand how you'd have peace of mind by keeping your files (particularly your work-critical files) on hardware you don't control. Yes, it's just a backup, but the point is you don't have any control over what happens to your stuff up there.
Quote:
Have you also looked at the servers being employed in Cloud ISP today 256 core HP Arm stacks in water cooled racks as far as the eye can see… …with secure remote functioning programs… …so my friend who laughs last… 

The hackers when they get all your information anyway. Like what happened to Sony just recently.
Quote:
…guaranteed as safe as banking your money online which of course you do everyday…

Again, no, but you didn't know that.
Quote:
…soon all services will become cloud streamed…

Nope. Not if common sense has anything to say about it.
Quote:
…3D video…

Fad. It'll pass.
Quote:
…online mainstream 3D streamed gaming…

Yes, like OnLive, which has proven to be pretty poor at what it does.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
you bank online don't you?
No.

 

Wow! that speaks volumes... how do you think all these online services exist if no-one uses them?   I guess some people didn't trust the wheel when that was invented either. 

If we didn't push the boundaries and take risk then we wouldn't have won the 2nd world war, and Turin wouldn't have invented the computer and you would not have had the opportunity of writing this.

BTW I've heard talk that some banks who deal with your money online for you, are considering withdrawing the written cheque book service!!!

 

Good luck mon aime.

post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

I guess some people didn't trust the wheel when that was invented either. If we didn't push the boundaries and take risk then we wouldn't have won the 2nd world war, and Turin wouldn't have invented the computer and you would not have had the opportunity of writing this.

Of course you'd use a tactic like that.
Quote:
BTW I've heard talk that some banks who deal with your money online for you, are considering withdrawing the written cheque book service!!!

Not good banks. Therefore, not mine. 😉
post #28 of 37

There are no "good banks"...  ce la vie.

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

There are no "good banks"...  ce la vie.

Of course not. And pardon my French, but "ignorance is bliss".
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

 

OK Tallest Skill, its Sunday, so I'll give you a bit of my time in reply... Its nice to see all joining the digital solid state age, but it is time to consider going all the way, a bit like 10 years ago trying to convince companies to get a web presence to remain competitive today its get your head into the clouds or get left behind ! and not having your intellectual property in someone Else's cloud is simply not true...  you bank online don't you?

 

Having your IP in someone else's cloud is a concern even if you do use online banking.  Ignoring that issue is something internet posters can do but CIOs have to actually consider carefully.

 

 

Quote:

but over the last couple of years new gear has at last changed that messy toil intensive way of working into the modern era, the new RmacbkPro is truly a new wave of "tiny" computers with power onboard to put even my aging twin processor macpro to shame, far from "tiny terminal" it is a complete video and high res photography in the field pre editing/proofing machine that I can upload takes/rushes direct to a professional photography specialized and contract trusted cloud service business who's reputation depends on their secure probity.

Further more when I get home I know my work has been reassuringly automatically backed up and secure from any location  I work from, I don't have to concern myself with maintaining or updating any other hardware other than my "tiny intelligent terminal". and I don't have to lug around those countless heavy bags either.

 

LOL...you want to save TBs of raw and processed video in the cloud?  Via wireless (any location)?  You don't have to be some luddite to think this is stupid in 2012.

 

Given than eSATA and USB3 are kinda slow for the volume of data getting moved it'll be a while before these massively disk intensive services are in the (internet) cloud.  Sure, once you have finished product that needs to be encoded in various formats you can use a service like Zencoder but there's a huge tradeoff between network bandwidth/speed and compute cycles in moving to the cloud.

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Having your IP in someone else's cloud is a concern even if you do use online banking.  Ignoring that issue is something Internet posters can do but CIOs have to actually consider carefully.

 

LOL...you want to save TBs of raw and processed video in the cloud?  Via wireless (any location)?  You don't have to be some Luddite to think this is stupid in 2012.

 

Given than eSATA and USB3 are kinda slow for the volume of data getting moved it'll be a while before these massively disk intensive services are in the (Internet) cloud.  Sure, once you have finished product that needs to be encoded in various formats you can use a service like Zencoder but there's a huge tradeoff between network bandwidth/speed and compute cycles in moving to the cloud.

 

About 15 yrs ago stage sound mix and light control surfaces took all signal wires hundreds of yards to auditorium desks for processing and the sent back hundreds of yards to the stage stacks with massive radio interference and ensuing signal degradation ect ect, this limited  the quality of sound that you could technically achieve live on stage, until some bright spark "Luddite" came up with the idea that you can remote the processors on stage and minimise the signal degradation, it took time to get it right but today virtually all sound light and video is now run by Ethernet from what has over time become quite intelligent control surfaces and the quality is live studio 192 sound recording standard that could not have been contemplated before and today virtually all up to date commercial computers and domestic hifi can deal with the recording and reproduction of flac AAC WAV 192/24 7.1 surround files with HUI display surfaces in the home despite being predominantly studio equipment, modern integrated HD 4K and medium stills photography files are also fully workable by low res workstation editing and then tying the said workstation to render the resulting artwork, the more expensive the system the more productive one can be, 

 

I did also state in my previous entries above that "large institutions would probably have their own on-line cloud service centres but most smaller businesses will have to avail themselves of on-line cloud services to compete" and "Specialist cloud service providers and distributors would be entrusted as are banks entrusted with much larger sensitive finance business today" I also said " with a suitable connection for the data uploading", WiFi I'm sure common sense dictates will have to improve somewhat first for large files but optical fibers do such data density all day long, news video services work this way already today.

 

So you upload your takes and rushes to the trusted specialized cloud service for your industry where all co workers can low res remote work on the large files live on line easily achieved at HD 1080 resolution on remote workstations like the Apple IMac hopefully retina soon please, then simply autorender in the clouds and proceed to multiple product distribution marketing without further a do and finance is already linked in live, this is the speed of progress and what you will face as competition in future, one person or even small company could not compete with such cloud networked production facilities whether you trust it or not today.

 

Like the individual or band with engineer or not can record edit upload and distribute his or her work through ever easier to use software that automates the expensive specialist procedures out of the market place and gives the likes of Indi filmmakers a cloud based video (Vimo) forum to display and sell their work.

10 years ago I could command a decent living from specialized digital photography service, today anyone can do it from their laptop and tomorrow (meaning by next year) the video world will go the same way relying on cloud based specialists Adobe connected professionals  working on iMac or Z1 solid state workstations probably working from home or small SOHO business team as a remote location.

 

What it's going to take is your seeing your work process from an equal but alternative perspective such is the means of progress, without embracing such vision Macs would not have achieved the almost solid state excellence it has become even today and without the "stupid"  vision of a few "Luddites" we would never change and improve.

with the unrolling of optical www Internet connection and ever improving speed is making all I've said more and more likely every day right now this year, coupled with the fact that the software such as the likes of final cutX are becoming so easy and automated to use that almost any "Luddite" can make a reasonably acceptable edit job of it today with standards acceptable to pro houses.

 

So with a pro camera and a laptop I could take edit color and finish my film Photography graphics artwork with a relatively modest iMac and have my work accepted by the BBC National Geographic Discovery and presented on multiformats online with equal quality to pro houses and all payment automated straight to bank account, that just leaves the "Talent" bit that needs some working on... lol.

 

So this may denote a beginning of an end if not the end for the MacPro but hopefully a beginning for a high end solid state iMacPro mobile nVidea mQuadro adobe registerred retina with a equal touch screen HUI artwork work-surface. stackable for those with bigger needs and pockets. 

post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

 

About 15 yrs ago stage sound mix and light control surfaces took all signal wires hundreds of yards to auditorium desks for processing and the sent back hundreds of yards to the stage stacks with massive radio interference and ensuing signal degradation ect ect, this limited  the quality of sound that you could technically achieve live on stage, until some bright spark "Luddite" came up with the idea that you can remote the processors on stage and minimise the signal degradation, it took time to get it right but today virtually all sound light and video is now run by Ethernet from what has over time become quite intelligent control surfaces and the quality is live studio 192 sound recording standard that could not have been contemplated before and today virtually all up to date commercial computers and domestic hifi can deal with the recording and reproduction of flac AAC WAV 192/24 7.1 surround files with HUI display surfaces in the home despite being predominantly studio equipment, modern integrated HD 4K and medium stills photography files are also fully workable by low res workstation editing and then tying the said workstation to render the resulting artwork, the more expensive the system the more productive one can be, 

 

I did also state in my previous entries above that "large institutions would probably have their own on-line cloud service centres but most smaller businesses will have to avail themselves of on-line cloud services to compete" and "Specialist cloud service providers and distributors would be entrusted as are banks entrusted with much larger sensitive finance business today" I also said " with a suitable connection for the data uploading", WiFi I'm sure common sense dictates will have to improve somewhat first for large files but optical fibers do such data density all day long, news video services work this way already today.

 

So you upload your takes and rushes to the trusted specialized cloud service for your industry where all co workers can low res remote work on the large files live on line easily achieved at HD 1080 resolution on remote workstations like the Apple IMac hopefully retina soon please, then simply autorender in the clouds and proceed to multiple product distribution marketing without further a do and finance is already linked in live, this is the speed of progress and what you will face as competition in future, one person or even small company could not compete with such cloud networked production facilities whether you trust it or not today.

 

Like the individual or band with engineer or not can record edit upload and distribute his or her work through ever easier to use software that automates the expensive specialist procedures out of the market place and gives the likes of Indi filmmakers a cloud based video (Vimo) forum to display and sell their work.

10 years ago I could command a decent living from specialized digital photography service, today anyone can do it from their laptop and tomorrow (meaning by next year) the video world will go the same way relying on cloud based specialists Adobe connected professionals  working on iMac or Z1 solid state workstations probably working from home or small SOHO business team as a remote location.

 

What it's going to take is your seeing your work process from an equal but alternative perspective such is the means of progress, without embracing such vision Macs would not have achieved the almost solid state excellence it has become even today and without the "stupid"  vision of a few "Luddites" we would never change and improve.

with the unrolling of optical www Internet connection and ever improving speed is making all I've said more and more likely every day right now this year, coupled with the fact that the software such as the likes of final cutX are becoming so easy and automated to use that almost any "Luddite" can make a reasonably acceptable edit job of it today with standards acceptable to pro houses.

 

So with a pro camera and a laptop I could take edit color and finish my film Photography graphics artwork with a relatively modest iMac and have my work accepted by the BBC National Geographic Discovery and presented on multiformats online with equal quality to pro houses and all payment automated straight to bank account, that just leaves the "Talent" bit that needs some working on... lol.

 

So this may denote a beginning of an end if not the end for the MacPro but hopefully a beginning for a high end solid state iMacPro mobile nVidea mQuadro adobe registerred retina with a equal touch screen HUI artwork work-surface. stackable for those with bigger needs and pockets. 

 

1) If you don't know the meaning of a word then looking it up is helpful before you make yourself look sillier.  Putting it in quotes doesn't help.

 

2) Your example is exactly counter to the scenario you envision...meaning moving the sound processing closer to the stage vs remoting it far away.  Your example, however, is pretty much the way that the computer industry has been moving since the mainframe era...more and more local processing power at your fingertips in ever smaller packages replacing centralized services.  The reason you won't need a mac pro is because the mac book air is fast enough (with a few cards and boxes anyway) to edit 4K video if you can stand doing it on such a small screen.  In real time.  Needing only AC power and not a big ass data pipe that isn't available anyway in the middle of Denali and sometimes not even in some parts of DC without a truck and a microwave or sat link.

 

3) Good luck uploading your "takes and rushes" anywhere that that is bandwidth constrained.  Good luck accessing your work from anywhere bandwidth constrained.  And you still need to have a local copy of your takes and rushes in the first place to upload.  Which means you're still hauling around these boxy things called disks to places you're likely to actually take photos that the beeb or nat geo would buy.

 

4) If you're going to be dependent on cloud resources anyway you don't need an iMac either.  Of course, we used to do this all the time...it was called mainframes and dumb terminals.  The trade offs, all these years later, remains much the same and until Intel fails to keep up with Moore's Law the equation isn't likely to change that much.  Building ubiquitous high-speed internet infrastructure is harder and far more expensive than building faster local machines.

 

5) If there is one certainly beyond death and taxes it is that your ISP will suffer some major outage right before a major deadline or demo removing your access to the cloud at the worst possible time.

post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post



Like the individual or band with engineer or not can record edit upload and distribute his or her work through ever easier to use software that automates the expensive specialist procedures out of the market place and gives the likes of Indi filmmakers a cloud based video (Vimo) forum to display and sell their work.

10 years ago I could command a decent living from specialized digital photography service, today anyone can do it from their laptop and tomorrow (meaning by next year) the video world will go the same way relying on cloud based specialists Adobe connected professionals  working on iMac or Z1 solid state workstations probably working from home or small SOHO business team as a remote location.

 

What it's going to take is your seeing your work process from an equal but alternative perspective such is the means of progress, without embracing such vision Macs would not have achieved the almost solid state excellence it has become even today and without the "stupid"  vision of a few "Luddites" we would never change and improve.

with the unrolling of optical www Internet connection and ever improving speed is making all I've said more and more likely every day right now this year, coupled with the fact that the software such as the likes of final cutX are becoming so easy and automated to use that almost any "Luddite" can make a reasonably acceptable edit job of it today with standards acceptable to pro houses.

 

So with a pro camera and a laptop I could take edit color and finish my film Photography graphics artwork with a relatively modest iMac and have my work accepted by the BBC National Geographic Discovery and presented on multiformats online with equal quality to pro houses and all payment automated straight to bank account, that just leaves the "Talent" bit that needs some working on... lol.

 

So this may denote a beginning of an end if not the end for the MacPro but hopefully a beginning for a high end solid state iMacPro mobile nVidea mQuadro adobe registerred retina with a equal touch screen HUI artwork work-surface. stackable for those with bigger needs and pockets. 

You're in favor of the end of the Mac Pro, yet you believe that Quadros have a future with Apple? NVidia can't implement half the features due to what Apple actually supports, so their value in OSX is severely diminished. Applications that run on workstation cards under Windows tend to test on whatever the typical mac pro cards are. They all test the 5770 and 5870. The Quadro 4000 isn't terrible. It's just lacking a lot of OSX features and the AMD cards have nowhere near the driver performance issues that they would encounter under Windows. OpenGL applications tend to heavily favor NVidia there. As to Apple and displays, their consistency has never been very good. Some people do use them. It's just a matter of what is good enough. Right now I could buy an NEC around the price of the TB display. At that point the TB display ceases to be even a remote consideration.

 

The other point I wanted to address was software. This happens with a lot of industries. A lot of software can be complex for different reasons. Sometimes it's a matter of features and flexibility. I can think of a couple CG and video compositing programs where you can just tear apart the UI, implement compiled plugin tools, complex scripts given the heavy rise of Python the past few years. What I've noticed is that it's likely that bright students will come out of college familiar with a much more diverse range of software and equipment as to a degree we're seeing many of the old ones start to ditch the old tools and clean up applications that contain code that's been sewn and layered since the 1990s. As these things modernize, they tend to become simplified. The only time this is a bad thing is when it lessens the amount of control granted by the use of an application. I can still spot the difference between good and bad work. It's just that there's a lot more that is really quite average.

post #34 of 37

I think i see where you are coming from guys, would I be not to far of the mark to assume you work in a studio with tri-screen video editing MacPro lionOs workstations ? filled with high budget Red 4K work-flows and deep pockets to afford it all, we were the behemoth dinosaur minutia of all the computing industry focus even in that bygone age.

 

Apple needs to evolve, new technologies become smaller more integrated and more capable (moors law), if Red brings out a dedicated rack processor you'd convert and drop Apple and its OS like a hot brick even at double the price, why? because Red would be flawlessly dedicated to do the ultimate perfect job of reproducing your Red based cinema film editing prior to networking the outlet on-line, its your end of the market.

The problem here is that only a few customers would afford such a system priced too high for the majority of potential users not to mention complexity of using outside such a limited trained market. where the MacPro was employed across a vast array of the creative film photographic and graphic design of recent years, the online iMac has now replaced most of that demand.

A new breed of independent film and documentary makers are using better broadcast quality simpler to use camera equipment, editing, finishing, collaborating and selling their work direct online today without the price of a Red or Arri system, this is giving opportunities to our younger upcoming generation who are not so creatively limited by the technical challenges of mastering studio procedures and fixed protocol.

 

Also the MacPro itself falls next in line to that bracket of potential customers using old server grade processing family that is costly compared to multi Arm processing that the server industry seems to be adopting and rolling out ever increasing higher speed video services.

I may be logical in thinking but the next generation could see a solid state iMacPro (6core Zeonmobile with blacknight or nVidea 686GPU and 1Tbt SSD) and a retina pro display, that could easily handle 1080p HD broadcast quality pro app video editing and two such parallel TB connected next generation iMacPros opticalTB connected direct to Red field SSD array if you wish could replace the studio MacPro within a similar price range or cheaper depending on use, and if the system could be Adobe standard certified like the HPZ1 then could be used as a on-line remote editing terminal using specialist servers for most business and creative work including offsite rendering, think about it... film makers could employ selected studios around the world to work non-destructively live online 24/7, like multi-location sound recording can be done today, or is such competition your fear?.

Adobe has standardized creative on-line software which Apple could do also for its cloud connected pro apps, and the quality of this software will only improve as specialized static software becomes superseded or left behind. FCProX is much easier to use than FCPro was, the quality is maintained even if some features are no longer there, change should be evolution, never be afraid to evolve after all we are human-  I think?.

 

Its the same as moving your home multimedia or business based server to the cloud online, its a big headache and cost concern resolved, more compatibility and opens the door to many more possibilities freeing you from the workplace tether, and like shopping and banking on-line of ten years ago your just gonna have to get over your fears and join the creative cloud party, Yes! there may be hiccups along the way but they will also get sorted out, but the longer term (2/3yrs) results are going to be computing generation changing.

post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

…hopefully a beginning for a high end solid state iMacPro mobile nVidea mQuadro adobe registered retina with a equal touch screen HUI artwork work-surface. stackable for those with bigger needs and pockets. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

I may be logical in thinking but the next generation could see a solid state iMacPro (6core Zeonmobile with blacknight or nVidea 686GPU and 1Tbt SSD) and a retina pro display, that could easily handle 1080p HD broadcast quality pro app video editing and two such parallel TB connected next generation iMacPros opticalTB connected direct to Red field SSD array if you wish could replace the studio MacPro within a similar price range or cheaper depending on use, and if the system could be Adobe standard certified like the HPZ1 then could be used as a on-line remote editing terminal using specialist servers for most business and creative work including offsite rendering

Stop throwing random words together. This isn't CSI, and we're not the idiot CSI audience. We know what these words actually mean. No one gives a crap about "Adobe certification", either.
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Stop throwing random words together. This isn't CSI, and we're not the idiot CSI audience. We know what these words actually mean. No one gives a crap about "Adobe certification", either.

 

ROFLAMO...yah, the random words strung together was pretty danged funny.

post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

ROFLAMO...yah, the random words strung together was pretty danged funny.

 

I can't wait for the french version.

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